Notes from the 1930s

Events of the 1930s


1930 – U.S. Census shows the population has reached 122,000,000


1931 – Star Spangled Banner officially proclaimed as the national anthem.


1931 – Empire State Building completed in New York City – 86 stories and 1,245 feet tall.


New products introduced during the early 1930s – Twinkies, Alka Seltzer, Toll House Cookies, Fritos, Skippy Peanut Butter, Zippo lighters.


1932 – Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.


1932 – Franklin Roosevelt defeats Herbert Hoover in Presidential election - 472 electoral votes to 59.


1933 – Prohibition is repealed by ratification of the 21st Amendment.


1934 – Severe drought grips much of the Midwest – becomes worse than the authorities had initially predicted.


1934 – Notorious bank robbers Bonnie and Clyde killed by Federal agents in an ambush.


1934 – After 14-month crime spree Public Enemy #1 John Dillinger gunned down by Federal agents outside the Biograph Theater in Chicago.


1934 – Securities & Exchange Commission established to regulate the stock market.


1934 – After lengthy manhunt, Federal agents gun down infamous bank robbers George “Baby Face” Nelson and Charles “Pretty Boy” Floyd in Ohio.


1934 – Walt Disney introduces new character, Donald Duck, in animated short titled “Wise Little Hen” (preceded in 1932 by Goofy).


1935 – WPA (Works Progress Administration) is established. Creates thousands of construction jobs but also creates projects for musicians, artists, actors, and writers.


1935 – Major League Baseball plays its first night game under the lights. Phillies defeat the Reds in Cincinnati 2-1.


1935 – CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) is established. Employs young men between the ages of 18 and 25, working on projects that benefit the natural environment.


1935 – Social Security Administration established. Creates an agency that provides unemployment insurance, child health & welfare programs, and old age pensions.


1935 – Alcoholics Anonymous founded in Akron, Ohio.


1936 – Hoover Dam project completed. Creates inexpensive electricity by harnessing the Colorado River. Situated a few miles east of Las Vegas, Nevada.


1936 – Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb among the first player players to be inducted into Baseball’s Hall of Fame.


1936 – Jesse Owens wins 4 gold medals (including the 100 and 200 meter sprints) at the Summer Olympics hosted by Germany in Berlin.


1936 – FDR wins a landslide victory in his bid for re-election, beating Alfred Landon 523 electoral votes to 8.


1937 – Amelia Earhart disappears somewhere over the Pacific Ocean in her attempt to fly all the way around the world. Her remains were never found.


1937 – Golden Gate Bridge completed in San Francisco. Stretches 6,450 feet from anchorage to anchorage. Suspension cables made by the Roebling Company.


1937 – The hydrogen filled Zeppelin Hindenburg explodes while docking in Lakehurst, New Jersey. Hydrogen leak and static electricity blamed for the explosion.


1938 – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – the first full length animated movie – opens to huge audiences. Produced by Disney.


1938 – Superman comic books make their debut.


1938 – Radio broadcast of H.G. Welles science fiction novel War of The Worlds shocks listeners – many who thought it was an actual news broadcast.


1938 – Hitler’s Nazi forces occupy and annex neighboring Austria, then part of Czechoslovakia.


1939 – Lou Gehrig honored by Yankee fans. The “Iron Horse” suffering from ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) – later known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. In a speech to fans he assures them he’s “the luckiest man on the face of the earth.”


1939 – Gone With the Wind and The Wizard of Oz debut on the big screen. Gone With the Wind wins the Oscar for Best Picture of the Year.


1939 – Hitler invades Poland on September 1st. World War II begins.